Apple butter is simple to make and even easier to enjoy. With no chopping required, this easy recipe for crock pot apple butter will be filling your home with the scent of autumn spices in just a few minutes.
Whether you enjoy it thick or silky smooth, this apple butter recipe will be an amazing addition to your fall entertaining.
There are many apple butter recipes out there…and it’s no wonder. This fruit spread (which doesn’t include any actual butter – despite the name), is intensely flavorful and delicious.
But what makes this particular recipe so special?
- Instead of spending an hour chopping and peeling apples, we use unsweetened applesauce to get the recipe started,
- It’s easily adaptable. If you want less sugar, feel free to start with half, or even a quarter of the sugar in the recipe. Then do a taste test halfway through cooking, and adjust accordingly.
- No blender required. This easy crock pot apple butter recipe is fairly smooth right from the start. But more on that later…
Overall, it’s pretty safe to say that I’m in love with this recipe and I can’t wait for you to try a spoonful – there are few things better than homemade goodness!
A Few Notes about the Ingredients/supplies:
Using pre made applesauce means you’ll have far less prep work, making this the perfect recipe for busy families. But if you want to make it completely from scratch, you can make this crock pot applesauce recipe a day or so in advance. (Just remember to eliminate the sugar)
We used light brown sugar in all of our tests, but dark brown sugar should work fine too.
This is a large batch recipe, so you’ll need a 6-quart crock pot or larger. (If your slow cooker is even bigger, this may require less cooking time, so keep an eye on it)
To make things easy, I’ve got a simple step-by-step guide to make the process as simple as possible.
For all measurements and a more detailed guide, check out the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1 – Combine applesauce, sugars, and spices in a 6-quart crock pot.
Step 2 – Stir well to combine.
Step 3 – Cook on high uncovered for 6 to 7 hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 4 – Cool and pour into jars or other sealed containers.
Don’t skip these tips – read them before cooking to avoid any potential mistakes.
Use crock pot liners for easy clean up
When you’re reducing liquids – like this apple butter, there tends to be a bit of overcooked sauce at the original liquid line. Which is why crock pot liners are so helpful when cooking in your slow cooker. Instead of having to scrape off any burnt sauce, you just have to wipe out anythign that got through the liner.
Make it even smoother with a blender
For a silky smooth texture, process the apple butter in a blender while still warm. Alternatively (if you’re not using a liner) you can use an immersion blender right in the crockpot.
Apple butter makes fantastic gifts
Add a layer of pretty fabric to the top of your jars with a cute tag and you’ve got an inexpensive and tasty gift to give to friends, new neighbors, and coworkers during the holiday season.
Want to make it even easier?
If you’re short on one of the ingredients above, or just want this to take even less time to prep, you can also substitute 2.5-3 tablespoons of apple pie spice for the spice mixture in the recipe.
How do I store apple butter?
First off, I don’t do formal ‘canning’. That’s a whole ball of wax I’m not ready to get into yet…maybe someday. Until then, this resource on canning apple butter is super helpful.
That said, I do use canning jars (eg. Mason jars) and old jelly jars to store sealed containers of apple butter in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze apple butter! Once it’s cooled to room temperature, pour into freezer bags and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in your refrigerator for several hours before transferring to jars and serving.
How long will apple butter last?
When refrigerated in sealed containers, apple butter will last up to a month.
And, as mentioned above, apple butter will store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Can I make this apple butter overnight?
Well, none of us want to end up like Jack Pearson, but I have actually made this recipe overnight. To make it as safe as possible, I recommend you use a crock pot like this one that has a ‘keep warm’ setting.
You’ll also want to make sure to start the apple butter late in the evening, because too much longer than 6-7 hours in the crock pot can cause the apple butter to burn around the edges.
What to make with apple butter?
There are lots of yummy ways to enjoy your apple butter:
- Spread on toast, English muffins, biscuits, or bagels
- Use as a substitute for jelly on nut butter sandwiches or cream cheese sandwiches
- Stir a tablespoon or two into your oatmeal
- Pancake topping
- Add it to homemade cinnamon apple bread for an incredibly flavorful and moist quick bread,
- Apple butter meatballs make a surprisingly tasty appetizer
- Use as a filling or topping for cinnamon rolls
If you liked this easy crock pot apple butter, you’re going to love my homemade applesauce recipe in the crock pot, and these other fun apple recipes. They’re both fun recipes that the whole family will love.
Or you can check out my other appetizer recipes right here.
- 8 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoons of ground cloves
- Combine applesauce, sugars, and spices in a 6-quart crock pot.
- Stir well to combine.
- Cook on high uncovered for 6 to 7 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Cool and pour into jars or other sealed containers.
Don't forget, the step-by-step photos in the recipe post are there to help you see what the apple butter should look like as it cooks.
- You can use either light or dark brown sugar for this recipe.
- Crock pot liners make cleanup a breeze.
- To make the apple butter extra smooth, puree in the crock pot with an immersion blender, or place the cooled apple butter in a blender and puree until it reaches your desired texture.
- Apple butter will last up to a month when sealed in containers and refrigerated, and up to 6 months when frozen.
- In a pinch, 2.5 tablespoons of apple pie spice can be substituted for the spice blend above.